Have political memoirs become hopelessly formulaic?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the politicians-turned-authors who have penned a memoir about their life in politics. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the politicians-turned-authors who have penned a memoir about their life in politics. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Listen

From co-writer to ghostwriter, post-retirement to pre-election -- Jian speaks with Politico journalist Casey Cep about how the genre of political memoirs has changed throughout the years.

As political memoirs line the shelves (Think, Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's A Fighting Chance, Olivia Chow's My Journey), Cep offers insight into how they're made, who's buying them, and why so many are, in her view, "so terrible".

Have you ever read a book penned by a politician? Was it worth your while? Please share your review in the comments below.

Books & Publications Lists on Ranker

Care for a memoir antidote?

If you're among those who find politician's memoirs too agenda-driven or formulaic, we may have an antidote for you. Earlier this month, Jian spoke with Samara researchers Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan about their new book Tragedy in the Commons -- a collection built on exit interviews with former Members of Parliament.

Their non-partisan think tank spoke to 80 ex-MPs of all political stripes. The resulting testimonies were loaded with the kind of candour that Cep feels is missing from today's political memoirs.

The MPs admitted to feeling confused, powerless, angry and dismayed by the present-day democratic system. You can hear that interview here, or visit the original blog post.

parliament 620.jpg
Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan interviewed dozens of outgoing MPs about the state of democracy for their book Tragedy in the Commons. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.